How To Ride A Penny Board For Beginners – It’s That Simple!
Penny boards are becoming more popular than ever among young people as an inexpensive yet stylish way to commute and have fun. They are short and light so it is very convenient to carry around.
More than that, they open the door to the skateboarding world for newbies, thanks to its ease of control. So, how to ride a penny board properly? Here’s the beginner’s guide for you!
How To Ride A Penny Board For Beginners Step By Step
Step 1: Foot Positioning
Choosing A Stance
The first lesson of how to learn to ride a penny board is standing on your board. If you already have a preferred skateboarding stance, just go with it. If not, there are two stances for you to choose from.
Most people stand on a skateboard with their left foot in front and place their right foot behind to push themselves. That is the regular stance.
When you stand the other way around with your right foot in front and your left foot in the back, you are using the goofy stance.
You can also use your front leg to push yourself forward. That is called mongo pushing. It is not a good habit to have if you want to perform flip tricks.
Either you ride a penny board goofy or regularly, you should put the front of your lead foot over the front truck. The tip of your shoe should be right under the front two bolts.
With this lead foot position, you will have a solid position to push yourself with the other foot and control the board.
About your back foot, it should also be somewhere above the hind truck, so it’s easy to switch between pushing, resting, and using the kicktail.
There is not a lot of room with a penny board, so prioritize your lead foot and stay light on the other one.
Step 2: Stabilizing And Start Moving
This is probably the hardest part of mastering penny boards. Unlike riding skateboards and longboards, you will be balancing with one foot most of the time.
Your front foot will carry most of your weight. It is because penny boards are quite short, only about 22 to 27 inches. Some people compare riding a penny board with riding rollerblades on one foot.
To not put all of your weight on the front wheels, you should bend the knee of your front leg a little bit. In that way, your center of gravity will be above the middle of your board.
Bent knees are also good for maneuvering and handling bumpy roads.
To start moving, push your back foot off the ground. Don’t push too hard right away, just enough to move forward a few feet.
If you find it difficult to stay balanced, try riding with your pushing foot hanging on the side. Consider your pushing foot to be your temporal training wheel. Spend some time in an empty parking lot.
Once you feel comfortable with balancing, you can try to put your front foot horizontally with your board so that there will be more space for your back foot. It will also be easier to carve with these foot placements.
Step 3: Accelerating
Now it is time to gain some speed and feel the joy of cruising. Like with any skateboard, you accelerate by pushing yourself forward with one foot against the ground.
There are two parts to pushing. The first part is the pushing motion itself. You can do it just like the way you walk, touch the ground with the ball of your foot first, then with the front of your foot.
Or you can push with only the front end of your foot. At higher speeds, it might be easier to use this one-touch pushing technique.
The second part of pushing is to turn your front foot to the sideways position. To do so, you put your back foot on the board and rotate your front foot's heel until it is horizontal with the board.
If you plan to do multiple pushes, keep your front foot vertically with the board until the last push. Then you can turn it sideways again to have some room for your back foot to rest. When you are pushing, use your arms to stay balanced and twist your body to get the most out of your pushes.
See also: Top 12 Best Penny Boards For Beginners
Step 4: Maneuvering
By Using Your Body Weight
Similar to riding bikes, you can turn your penny board by leaning aside. To turn right, shift your weight over the right side of your board. You can add a little by pushing your toes harder into your board.
To turn left, put more weight to the left of your board. The key here is to maintain your balance. Don’t over-shift your weight. You have to feel your board and your skating surface.
One trick to make your board turn faster is to loosen your trucks. Loose trucks are also more forgiving toward landings.
By Using Kicktail
A more advanced turning technique is using the kicktail of your board a.k.a a kick turn. The idea is to lift and simply swivel the front wheels by pressing down the kicktail. It looks pretty nice and gives out a quite satisfying sound.
Out of the two techniques, kick turns are harder to do. But compared to the above turning technique, using your kicktail allows you to do more of a sharp turn and avoid obstacles more easily in crowded areas.
It is because turning with your body weight requires a certain amount of time for your board to follow your body. With the kicktail technique, you can turn almost instantly, but you will lose some momentum.
You should practice using your kicktail in a stopped position first. Once you get it down, it will open up many other cool tricks.
Step 5: Stopping
Breaking With Your Foot
Foot braking means dragging your back foot across the ground to gradually reduce the speed of your board. Remember that putting your foot firmly on the ground immediately will cause a fall. Instead, drag it like how you do with a bicycle.
Jump And Run
You can always jump off your board if you scent a danger, such as speed wobbles. Plastic boards are durable enough to hit a wall or curbside and be fine.
If you and your board are in a dire situation, your health is more important anyway. To avoid a fall, jump forward and to the side. Prepare to run a few steps because the inertia of yourself will force you to do so.
That was our guide on how to ride a penny board. First, find your stance and get in the right foot placements. Then learn to balance on your board.
To gain speed, use your hindfoot to push yourself against the ground. The two main ways to turn are using your body weight and doing a kick turn.
Two of the easiest ways to stop a penny board is to brake with your foot and jump off the board. Once you have got the hang of it, a penny board will be a great vehicle to carry you around the city.